Napa Wine

 

There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area “Wappo,” and some say this is a derivation of “guapo” meaning “handsome,” while others say it means “brave,” with Napa being a further spin-off. Another legend is that Napa is a Wappo word for the land itself. Regardless, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, this land eventually became one of the most important wine regions in the world. 
 
The first vineyards in Napa were planted in 1836 by George Calvert Yount in what is now the town of Yountville. In the 1850s, Thomas Rutherford, who married Yount’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Yount, established the first vineyard in what would become Rutherford town. The first commercial winery was established by Charles Krug in the 1860s. Soon, the likes of Inglenook, Beringer and Schramsberg and many others set up their wineries Read more »

Mentor for Napa Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (www.grapevinestudios.blogspot.com).

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stags Leap District

      Stags Leap District is located on the famous Silverado Trail of the Napa Valley region in ...

  • Yountville

    To the south of Oakville and comprised virtually entirely of valley floor land, Yountville is the...

Popular Wineries in Napa View all

  • Bond

    BOND: A stable of Napa Valley thoroughbreds — ultimately six Cabernet-based wines — assembled und...

  • StoneFly Vineyard

    Founded more than a decade ago on a passion for fly-fishing and fine wine, StoneFly Vineyards pro...

  • Michael Pozzan Winery

    Michael Pozzan Winery is owned and operated by Michael and Mary Ann Pozzan, both natives of Calif...

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

    Rutherford Wine Company is family owned and managed with a portfolio of wines representing the ri...

  • Jessup Cellars

    Owners Dan and Becky Blue, Roy and Cheri Eisiminger and Vance and Jana Thompson are proud to pres...

  • Scarecrow

    T H E S C A R E C R O W S T O R Y The Scarecrow story begins in a patch of earth with a fabled p...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Today I attended one of my favorite tastings of the year, the Taste Napa Valley tour, where I tasted no lessthan 65 great to wonderful wines, mostly King Cabernet himself. I have listed the high lights of the day here. More will follow. 2005 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Gorgeous fruit forward with a lush mouth feel. Dense currant with...

    Comment by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega


  • Apsara Syrah Carneros las Madres Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Still an awesome wine. Beautiful, dark garnet color. Floral and fruity nose, Light fruit--red berry, stone fruit--on entry. Then, some mineral or stone. Tannin and acid are completely resolved, Long, lingering finish. This wine is probably now at peak performance. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Cosentino Winery Merlot Napa Valley 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Sadly, a victim of poor storage. Nose of seriously burnt caramel. Incredibly jammy red fruit on the front of this wine is pretty distracting. Then, there is a TON of unresolved tannin. I am having a good time drinking through a stash of estate wines, I will drink the entire bottle, and it won't make me gag, but I just have to wonder what co... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I don't know how Bruce got the wines. I know that we used to drop them off ... ... forever. So we know that Napa can make good Cabs at this point. Bordeaux doesn't need an introduction. But there aren't a lot of people who know much about BC other than you guys up ther Read More

    Forum post in the topic More on BC wine


  • Provenance Beckstoffer las Amigas Vineyard Merlot 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Again a wine from an estate and, so, less than optimal storage conditions. A TON of upfront red fruit defines the entire taste experience now, Slightly oxidized. There are still very noticeable tannins and acids, here, but they seem to conflict, not harmonize. I am perfectly happy with this wine as an everyday drinker, but I wish for what mi... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Solaris Merlot Napa Valley Special Release 2001

    Snoothrank:

    Slightly oxidized. Years of unfortunate storage. On the other hand, there is still some lively red fruit in this one. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Quivet Cellars Kenefick Ranch Syrah 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of blackberry on the tip of the tongue. Mellows to tartness and some mineral things mid-palate. An unfortunate sourness on the very rear palate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Sterling Diamond Mountain Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

    Snoothrank:

    Inoffensive, but, obviously, over the hill. Very little of the black fruit that I normally see in CS. Still noticeable tannin. Acid is, pretty much, gone. I bought nine of these for $5/bottle at an estate sale. I have paid a lot more for wines that were not as good as this. I will enjoy my remaining bottles, but not with any special meals. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I can imagine the hidden powers of that Alexander Valley wine.  Nice ... ... from the relatively close-by Napa-Sonoma region.  There is a certain purity and richness to Cali wines from the cooler vineyards; the state is blessed with almost perfect agricultural possibilities - all kinds, really.I am still hammering through the 2016 Bordeaux Rel... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


  • Rombauer Zinfandel California 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by akitiger


  • Shafer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

    Snoothrank:

    Very beautiful, purple in the glass. Typical CS nose of dark fruit. Indeed dark fruit on the tip of the tongue--blackberry, currant, prune--but, also nice minerality. It's been years since I've seen anybody call out pencil lead in their tasting notes, but if this were 2005, that that's the way it would have been described. Tannin and acid ha... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Every time I visit Napa I have a great time. Make sure you plan ahead though. The options can be overwhelming!

    Comment by 321328cablecars 321328 cablecars


  • Recently had a Darioush Duel Cabernet/Shiraz blend 2005 I bought it at the vineyard and it was wonderful Mmmmm

    Comment by 250806Grape Goddess 250806 Grape Goddess


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